Venerdì, 19 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Napolitano denounces 'blackmail' wiretap article

English
© ANSA

(ANSA) - Rome, August 30 - Italian president Giorgio
Napolitano on Thursday condemned this week's cover article of
the Italian weekly magazine Panorama as a "murky destabilizing
maneuver".
The story - which features the headline Blackmail the
President over the face of Napolitano - attempts to reconstruct
a telephone call between the president and ex-interior minister
Nicola Mancino based on wiretaps carried out for prosecutors in
Palermo in a probe into alleged negotiations with Cosa Nostra to
stop an early 1990s bombing campaign.
The magazine claims the president made searing comments
critical of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi, ex-graftbuster and
centrist opposition leader Antonio Di Pietro, and prosecutors in
Palermo.
Panorama is part of Berlusconi's media empire.
"The claim - from wherever it may come - that one can
'blackmail' the head of state is 'laughable'," read a statement
from the president's office in Rome, which also declared an
intention to forcefully repel "every murky destabilizing
maneuver".
"To the many manipulations, one adds real falsehoods in
this way," the note said, referring to the article's content.
The statement added, "The 'campaign of insinuation and
suspicion'" against Napolitano "has reached a new pinnacle".
Journalistic and judicial authorities rallied to the
president's defense Thursday.
The presidential committee of the Superior Council of
Magistrates (CSM), the judiciary's self-governing body,
expressed "full solidarity with the President of the Republic,
who has for some time been subject to attacks that are as
unfounded as they are instrumental".
The secretary of the journalists' union FNSI Franco Siddi
also expressed solidarity and condemned the article for
attempting to "blackmail the highest office of the State".
Siddi wrote, "(Reconstruction) is something different than
an activity of (furnishing) full and correct information."
The scandal also prompted a centre-right political leader
to cry once more for tighter legal action on wiretapping and
investigation leaks - a controversial rallying point of the
former Berlusconi administration.
"Wiretaps were also executed and used in a savage way
against Berlusconi," said the House whip for Berlusconi's
centre-right People of Freedom Party (PDL), Fabrizio Cicchitto,
who also expressed solidarity with Napolitano.

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